Women and Cancer: Ovarian Cancer

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Ovarian cancer is a form of cancer that most often attacks the cells on the outside of the ovaries. Symptoms of ovarian cancer are vaguer than those of other cancers and can often be confused with common illnesses.  Although it is one of the less common forms of gynecological cancers, ovarian cancer has lower survival rates because diagnosis usually occurs in the later stages.

Signs of ovarian cancer include increased abdominal growth, bloating or abdominal distension, weight gain and feeling full quickly. Risk factors include increasing age, family history of ovarian or breast cancer and/or a genetic predisposition to the disease.  Since these symptoms are commonly overlooked, it is important to keep track of how often you experience them and discuss what you are feeling with your primary care physician. When it comes to finding ovarian cancer, you are your best advocate.

Because ovarian cancer often presents in a late stage, the treatment plan almost always includes a combination of surgery and chemotherapy. Your physician will work with you to create a personalized treatment plan based on your current health and the characteristics of your cancer, such as size and location. For young women who hope to have a family, physicians at Cone Health try to preserve fertility as much as possible while still healing the patient. Cone Health’s Cancer Center at Wesley Long Hospital allows women diagnosed with ovarian cancer and other gynecological cancers to receive exceptional care and cancer treatment right here in the community—close to work, home and their support networks.

Spokesperson Background:
Dr. Emma Rossi originates from Brisbane, Australia, where she completed her undergraduate and medical school training at the University of Queensland. She completed an OBGYN residency at Northwestern University in Chicago, followed by a fellowship in gynecologic oncology at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Following fellowship, Dr. Rossi served as assistant professor of obstetrics and gynecology at Indiana University where she was an interim fellowship program director in gynecologic oncology. In 2015, she returned to the UNC-Chapel Hill where she is faculty and assistant professor with the department of Obstetrics and Gynecology.